Mechanical Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard in KiCad, manufactured in China

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A mechanical keyboard designed in KiCad, manufactured in China. Uses a PIC chip for USB HID via Microchip MLA.

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Travis Ayres wrote 07/09/2019 at 14:12 point

Foam board looks good, parts on order

I ordered (most of the) parts and a PICDEM FS USB Demo Board (PIC18F45K50), Microchip part #DM163025-1. Getting used to MPLAB X, the usual compiler headaches. Starting to grok a bit how their configuration tools look. It seems like a pretty standard HAL setup for the PIC18, a bunch of EXTERN definitions for the Microchip MLA USB stack, setup functions which just fill in some structs which are declared VOLATILE, etc. Pretty standard C stuff; there were a few things with #define some_function() some_label that then led back to the HAL that had me scratching my head a bit - if it's a macro in C, why bother with the function style if it's just text replacement? and it just pointed to some volatile bit - doesn't look like much of a function call to me. Maybe it's just style. Whatever, the debugger will answer this.

I had an ICE 4 sitting around from some previous consulting, might as well put it to good use. One thing to note is "Chapter 6. Reconfiguring the PICDEM™ FS USB Hardware" of the PICDEM FS USB - if you want to not use the legacy pin setup, you have to apply cuts & jumpers to the demo board. That reeks of poor planning to me, but fine. I'll have to apply this step when I get the board. Good to know. 

Fine, looks pretty standard; demo application built. I'm sure there will be some goofy problem when I start playing with the board. There's always some goofy "gotcha".

Anyway, foam board printout looks good, when the parts get here I'll do some fit tests. 

I'm having a bit of trouble sourcing the keys for what I'm willing to pay. I've contacted Kailh in China to see about getting a bag of switches for (hopefully) less than what you can currently be gouged for online. Stay tuned on that front. 

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